2014-06-26 / Sports

Superb Play And Intense Squabbles Were The Story Of Caribbean Cup Play

Photos and text by Ann Marie Turton

Referee reprimands St. Kitts and Nevis for aggressive play during the match. Referee reprimands St. Kitts and Nevis for aggressive play during the match. It wasn’t pretty but at the end of the day Guyana, Barbados, and Grenada put on impressive performances this past Sunday in the fourth series of Caribbean Cup action. Guyana came out swinging in the first match of the day at Thomas Jefferson Athletic Field, ultimately defeating twin nation Antigua and Barbuda with a final score of 5-1, but Guyana’s coach still felt there was room for improvement from his squad.

“Even though we had a victory, we are still disappointed with our performance. I know we could play better” said Coach Renwick Hutson.

Guyana scored two quick goals in the first few minutes of the match leaving Antigua confused and surprisingly angry at themselves. Several lapses in communication did not make the situation any easier for Antigua, as constant bickering took place between its players. The goalie could even be heard yelling at his players urging them to move the ball and to run faster.

Guyana defender jostles with Antiguan player for possession of the ball. Guyana defender jostles with Antiguan player for possession of the ball. While Antigua struggled to regain its composure, Guyana remained relentless as everything seemed to be going its way. From fluid movement and great execution on the ball to quick runs up the field, Guyana was virtually unstoppable including Anthony Abrams, who scored 3 of Guyana’s five goals. His countryman Clive Nobrega contributed the final two goals.

Despite a sluggish start, Antigua’s fortune changed in the waning minutes of the first half, as it began to move the ball well getting more shots on goal, including its only goal of the day from Tamarley Thomas.

In the second half, Antigua looked much more relaxed and challenged Guyana every chance it could. With its internal squabbles behind it, Antigua channeled more of its intensity into slowing Guyana’s offense, but even an improved Antigua squad could not stop Guyana’s outright domination.

Barbados would deliver the same crushing defeat to the second of two twin nations competing in the Cup, St. Kitts and Nevis, in a hard fought 4-1 bout. It was a total team effort for Barbados, as four players (Omar Russell, Akeem Broomes, Dwayne Sealy, and Correy Barrow) each scored a goal.

In what was probably the most aggressive and evenly matched game, Barbados and St. Kitts frequently battled for possession of the ball.

“We prepared for the game. We were playing to St. Kitts tactical approach, keeping the ball on the ground, looking for visual cues,” said Bajan head coach Garfield Cummings.

Barbados scored the match’s first goal, but St. Kitts and Nevis quickly equalized off of a penalty kick during which St. Kitts’ Jamie McKoy scored on what looked to some, including Bajan defenders, like a handball.

The physicality of play by both teams increased forcing referees to dish out consecutive yellow cards to two St.Kitts and Nevis’ players.

Fans and cup officials commented on the ferocity of the match, particularly of that coming from St. Kitts.

Though St. Kitts and Nevis tried to mount an attack with the help of several corner kicks and great runs against Barbados, the Bajans were agile and more skillful players.

Nevis went down early in the match and struggled to work its way back into it, as Barbados constantly pounded the ball so much so that it was just too much for St. Kitts and its sister island Nevis.

The day’s final match featured Grenada and St. Lucia in what Cup official John Melbourne referred to as an “extremely competitive match”, ending in a 2-0 score. In the day’s only shut out, Grenada’s Chevy Augustine and Kimron Redhead scored the winning goals. The day culminated with another exciting, action packed series which is sure to continue for the rest of the cup.

Because these featured teams recently played each other, they won’t be in action next week, but they will be back in action in the weeks to come.

Barbados and St. Kitts and Nevis are scheduled to play two weeks from now on, Sunday, July 6th as they face Dominica and Haiti, respectively. St. Lucia is set to square off against Panama in the third and final game of the day.

The following week, July 13th, Guyana will take on Trinidad and Tobago, while its former opponent, Antigua and Barbuda, go up against Grenada in the day’s first match.

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